Elements of systems engineering of digital control
Control systems are the subsystems of plants that generate and send the commands to the plants’ ‘working’ components. Hence, they are the elements that turn motors on and off, regulate inputs, record (or log) data on the processes, send messages to operators, etc. The level of sophistication is decided at the systems engineering stage, with the goal of using control components and techniques appropriate to the task — neither using a supercomputer to turn a heater on and off nor a commercial personal microcomputer for a sophisticated satellite antenna pointing system. The various decisions involved are aspects of systems engineering, and require decisions at a number of levels. This chapter explores only two levels: system structuring and component selection.
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